Wall Street opens mixed ahead of a busy week for earnings

Stocks gave up an early gain and turned mixed in the first few minutes of trading this morning. The initial rise followed a report that showed China’s economy grew at a 5% annual rate in the last quarter.

The benchmark S&P 500 was little changed as of 9:14 a.m. Central. The Dow Jones Industrial Average of big blue chips was down 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite was up less than 0.1%. Small-company stocks were higher.

China was the first country to suffer coronavirus outbreaks and the first major economy to emerge from the pandemic and begin reopening from shutdowns. That’s providing a boost to other countries like the U.S. and Japan that rely on trade with China. After contracting 6.8% in the first quarter of this year the Chinese economy grew 3.2% in the April-June quarter and 4.9% in July-September.

ConocoPhillips fell 1.1% after the oil giant announced it would buy Concho Resources for $9.7 billion. The deal is the largest in the oil industry since crude prices plummeted this year due to the COVID pandemic.

In the U.S., the focus remains on the potential for new stimulus measures for the U.S. economy as well as corporate earnings. Companies including IBM, Procter & Gamble, Netflix will report their quarterly results this week.

Meanwhile, hopes for new stimulus for the U.S. economy were muted, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying time is running out to get measures passed before the Nov. 3 election.

Investors have been hoping that Washington would provide more financial support for the economy since July, when a supplemental $600-a-week unemployment benefit package ran out.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to bring a his version of a stimulus bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote on Wednesday. However that bill is likely to get zero traction with the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.